Yorkshire’s Got Talent – a competition to discover and help budding businesses – has gone Barmy for a Barnsley teenager!
At just 16 Eve Lodge is making waves with her ‘Barmy’ business – which produces bespoke, handmade bunting – and on Tuesday afternoon she ‘pitched up’ at Kirklees College in the Yorkshire’s Got Talent 2014 final.
Eve, who left Horizon College in the summer and is currently studying A levels at Shelley College, as well as continuing to build up her business, was one of four entrepreneurial people who had reached the final of the competition – sponsored and supported by PTG Group – and was by far the youngest!
Over 200 people and businesses from all parts of Yorkshire had initially applied online to take part, and that was firstly whittled down to 85, and then 25, where an ‘informal interview’ then took place.
Finally, five people were chosen to go through to the final, although one dropped out before Tuesday’s business pitch took place.
That left finalists:
Eve Lodge (Barmy)
Dave Fisher (Market Delivered)
Andrew Critchett (Fish&)
Angie Aspinall (Access Solutions)
They went head-to-head in front of the judges and an audience to win a mixture of resources, support of serial entrepreneurs and where needed, financial backing.
The judges were Lawrence Tomlinson, the founding chairman at LNT Group*; Phil Taylor-Guck, the co-Founder of PGF Group and PTG Group**; and Nicky Pattinson, an outstanding retail master, sales expert and motivational speaker.***
All four were hailed for their ‘fantastic pitches’ – with Access Solutions being named as the winner. Access Solutions advise the hospitality industry on meeting the needs of people with hearing loss via training, consultancy, audits and specialist equipment.
PTG co-owner Phil Taylor-Gluck also told all four finalists that he would keep in touch and that his ‘door would always be open’.
Said Barmy owner Eve (pictured below delivering her presentation): “I just loved pitching in front of the judges. It was an incredible experience and I met so many wonderful people who have done so much in business but who are willing to help a teenager like me.
“My business has already come such a long way since I started it, at the age of 14, and my family have given me tremendous support, as have Horizon College and now Shelley College, where I am doing my A levels.
“I am proud of what I am achieving with Barmy and hopefully that came across in my pitch.
“The judges were lovely and their feedback was really helpful. I am certainly beginning to ‘choose my path’!
“The other finalists were great too, very friendly, and hopefully I will keep in contact with everyone.”
Twitter was awash on Tuesday night with comments about Eve’s ‘pitch perfect performance’ – and the success of the Yorkshire’s Got Talent event, which signalled the start of Kirklees Business Week.
Judge Phil Taylor-Guck tweeted: “@Barmy_Bunting what a pitch from a very special lady in Eve!”
Fellow judge Nicky Pattinson concurred: “I totally doff my cap to everyone in the competition….the youngest being only 16. Good on ya…..everyone! You are all winners to me! Evie, you are amazing! Can I take you home?! Already a massive someone!”
Abigail Stewart of the Mid-Yorkshire Business Conferences tweeted: “Little Eve aged 16 makes bespoke bunting and blows the judges away @YGotTalent part of #KBW14. Well done, what a quality pitch, you are one to watch!”
Budding business Giga Buds tweeted: “Loved it today! @Barmy_Bunting great pitch today! Very inspiring and only 16! Wow :)”
Overall winner Angie Aspinall tweeted: “Eve, you were exceptional. So talented and confident at 16. I can’t wait to see where you go next!”
Eve will be at a special charity event at Huddersfield Town FC next month, selling her Barmy bunting products and helping raise money for The Town Foundation.
* Lawrence Tomlinson is the founding chairman of the LNT Group which employs over 2000 people across its five diverse core businesses; Ideal Care Homes, LNT Construction, LNT Software, LNT Solutions and Ginetta. Lawrence is a philanthropic entrepreneur whose passion for business is undiluted, he continues to invest his wealth back into the group and its people where, unusually, each and every employee is also a shareholder. He firmly believes that rewards associated with success need to be re-invested in people and he does just that, whether it is providing apprenticeships or creating driving scholarships for young people. Lawrence is dedicated to building a bright future for the LNT Group, its staff and its customers. Lawrence’s business, entrepreneurial, engineering and driving achievements were recognised in 2011 when he was awarded two separate honorary doctorates by Yorkshire universities, that year also saw Lawrence recognised as one of the top 10 most influential leaders within the healthcare industry. In 2012 Lawrence was awarded overall UK Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors. Lawrence was also appointed to advise Govt Ministers about the role of SME’s in kick starting the economy in his role of ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ with the Dept for Business Innovation and Skills.
**Phil Taylor-Guck is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded the PGF Group to invest, educate and accelerate start-up businesses based in the recruitment industry. PTG as Phil is lovingly known, does things differently. He is a generous Yorkshireman who makes quick decisions, trusts his gut instincts and doesn’t want to stop learning. He invests in the people he believes in and provides them with training, support and opportunity to reach senior management roles quickly. As well as your business partner, investor and mentor, Phil will be your friend. He will want to know what makes you tick, what matters to you and what you dare to dream of. If you are a PTG type of person, he will be able to make ‘it’ happen with you.
*** Nicky Pattinson is an outstanding retail master, sales expert and motivational speaker. She’s done literally millions of pounds of business in companies – not knowing a damn thing about what they actually sell, but knowing exactly how to position and express who they really were, away from the corporate brochure. From legal services to pan shops – T-shirts to people, Nicky saw what they could not … and taught them how to sell themselves in a way that dissolved all logic and went straight into the unconscious minds of the buyer – thereby unfreezing the revenue that moved from the customer’s wallet and ended up landing in the shop or businesses’ own till. If you’re going to engage with her you must know she may be rather more amusing than your average speaker, she may use colourful and emotive language occasionally – like when no other words will do to express how much something actually means. She may take your soul to the place you always dreamed of being – but couldn’t quite express…and always with a direct but empathetic way, with a flamboyance you get used to – and an intuition you hadn’t quite expected when you booked her.